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troubleshooting 51 navy


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been long time lurker here not too big on posting.....mostly I just love shooting cap and ball and you guys are the experts!

 

I have a pitta 1851 navy.  Worked great for a few years but now its acting up.  On half cock the cylinder just spins almost freely.  When cocking sometimes the cylinder doesn't catch and advance with the pull back of the hammer.  Other times it will cock and advance fine.

 

Hoping you all can help me diagnose what needs fixing and point in direction of a diagram or something to help me know what to do....I love tinkering and think I can get it fixed if I know what to look at

 

thanks!

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If you have not already completely disassembled it and cleaned it, do so.

 

If it misbehaves when clean:

 

Failure to index from one chamber to the next may be due to a broken or weak handspring.

 

Failure to lock the cylinder in proper position (exactly aligned with the barrel) may be due to a weak/ broken bolt spring, or a worn out hand.

 

Let us know how it misbehaves when clean.

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PLUS ONE for J-BAR.

 

The Newer Manufacture Pietta Cap Guns have a redesigned Hand Spring.  Made of much sterner stuff and not likely to fail.  The Trigger/Bolt spring has not been changed.  Replacing it is not a bad idea.  Tuning it is good idea.

 

Stay Safe Out There

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To help diagnose the problem do this simple test.  Hold the pistol straight up, cock the hammer.  If the cylinder doesn't rotate, it's the hand spring.  

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I've had to replace a broken handspring on a colt 60 army.  it's a simple part swap, but you may run into issues if the parts don't fit quite right after the parts swap... on mine it will sometimes not engage the full cock sear for some reason... I think I know the fix for this but I'm going to look into it some more before I start filing on my new revolver hand...

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3 hours ago, Griff said:

To help diagnose the problem do this simple test.  Hold the pistol straight up, cock the hammer.  If the cylinder doesn't rotate, it's the hand spring.  

Yep! I was in a pawn shop 15 or 18 years ago. They had a Uberti Walker in the cabinet behind the counter. I asked to see it, the clerk said it was broken and they were going to try and get it fixed. I looked at it and asked him what they would take as is. $35 dollars. I held the pistol straight down and cocked a few times, no problems. Held straight up the cylinder would not advance. I bought it and ordered the hand spring that day. Had me a Walker for about $40. IIRC I sold that to a fellow shooter for $275.

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appreciate all the info...sounds like you guys have it nailed on the head...or the hand I think.

 

Took pistol all apart.  Its dirty and gummed up inside pretty good but the hand spring also looks like its just about broken off....I ordered some replacement parts and am going to give it a whirl to see if I can get it back together!

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If you're going to delve into the gun... I'd recommend you read the following two articles first:

https://www.cascity.com/pdf/Tuning_the_Pietta_Part_One.pdf and https://www.cascity.com/pdf/Tuning_the_Pietta_Part_Two.pdf.

 

I had all 4 of my '51s converted to use the Ruger plunger and hand spring... a coil... in the nearly 34 years since the 1st one was done, it's never failed yet!  

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The broken hand spring can be replaced with a homemade one fashioned from spring wire.  It’s pretty easy to do.  Let me know if you are interested.

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